Former Miss North Dakota Goes Missing in Iran

Roxana Saberi was crowned Miss North Dakota in 1997.  Courtesy of Saberi family
Roxana Saberi was crowned Miss North Dakota in 1997. Courtesy of Saberi family

Roxana Saberi, 31, has been working as a journalist in Iran, but went missing after she was imprisoned for purchasing a bottle of wine, said her father on Sunday. The former Miss Dakota beauty queen called her father in Fargo, ND from an Iranian jail on Feb. 10 to tell him she’d been arrested on January 31.

It has been three weeks now since her call, and her father, Reza Saberi, said he has no clue what has happened to his daughter since then.

roxana-saberi-fargo-and-iran“We haven’t heard anything. She said that she had bought a bottle of wine and the person that sold it had reported it and then they came and arrested her. She called from an unknown place and said she’s been kept in detention,” he said.

Buying or selling alcohol is illegal in Iran.

Roxana is a U.S. citizen, but also carries and Iranian passport. She moved to Iran six years ago to complete her master’s degree and work as a freelance journalist. Her press credentials were revoked by the Iranian government more than a year ago, but Roxana continued to report short news stories from Iran.

She grew up in North Dakota, and in 1997 was crowned Miss North Dakota and competed in the Miss America pageant. Her father said that she had planned to move back to Fargo this year.

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